Reminder: Department of State Announces Public Hearing Schedule for Review of Agency Regulations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Heather Contant, Ombudsman
302-736-7564, Heather.Contant@delaware.gov

Dover, DE (July 29, 2016) – The Delaware Department of State would like to remind people that it will hold public hearings next week in all three counties as part of Governor Jack Markell’s effort to strengthen Delaware’s economy by modernizing and streamlining regulations that may be outdated or unnecessarily burdensome, while maintaining the state’s commitment to improving public health and environmental performance.
The Department of State’s public hearings are being conducted in accordance with Regulatory Flexibility Act (29 Del. C., Ch. 104, § 10407). Agencies with regulations subject to review include:

• Human Relations Commission
• Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
• Division of Arts
• State Banking Commissioner
• Boards and Commissions of the Division of Professional Regulation
• Public Service Commission

The public is also invited to comment on any policies or programs within the Department of State including the Division of Archives, Division of Corporations, Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of State’s Office.

The Department’s hearings are scheduled for:

· Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, 12:30pm, at the Carvel State Office Building, 4th Floor Conference Room, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington, DE 19803
· Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, 12:30pm, Secretary of State’s conference room, Townsend Building, 401 Federal Street, Dover, DE 19901
· Thursday, Aug 4, 2016, 12:30pm, at the Georgetown Public Library,123 West Pine Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

The Regulatory Flexibility Act provides an opportunity for state agencies such as the Department of State to review regulations on their books, and streamline or eliminate those that might be outdated, inconsistent or no longer serve their intended purpose. After formal comment, the Department will consider the input received in addition to its own evaluation and begin the process for amending or repealing regulations accordingly.

“This review process provides us with the opportunity to evaluate how we can make our existing regulations more efficient,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “We look forward to receiving specific and thoughtful comments from the public and business community in this effort.”

In addition to participating in the public hearings, members of the public are also encouraged to submit comments online. Comments relative to the Regulatory Flexibility Act will be accepted through October 1, 2016.

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Governor Signs 3 Bills to Reduce Burden of Regulations Upon Small Businesses

Photos from the event

SB 113, SB 120 and HB 147 unanimously passed both chambers earlier this year

Wilmington, DE – Following through on a commitment made in his State of the State address to further reduce the red tape and spur business growth in the First State, Governor Markell today signed three regulatory reform bills into law. House Bill 147 requires Executive Branch agencies to review the regulations on their books every 4 years, while Senate Bill 113 and Senate Bill 120 require agencies to consider the impact of new regulations and examine ways to reduce their burdens upon small businesses.

“Together, these 3 bills will improve transparency, increase accountability, and make life easier for small businesses. Today, as evidenced by the unanimous passage of this legislation, my Administration and members of the General Assembly are speaking with a unified voice in support of these goals,” said Governor Markell. “Although regulations are sometimes necessary, we must strive to ensure that they do not place unnecessary burdens upon individuals and businesses. This package of legislation, which includes good ideas from legislators on both sides of the aisle, builds upon our previous successful efforts to reduce red tape and improve Delaware’s business climate. I thank the members of the General Assembly for their support of these important measures.”

The bills signed into law today include:

House Bill 147 –– sponsored by Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Danny Short, Sen. Brian Bushweller, and Sen. Greg Lavelle, and others – requires each Executive Branch agency to review the regulations on its books every 4 years, with a view toward modifying or eliminating those regulations that are no longer needed.  As promised in the Governor’s State of the State address, HB 147 makes Executive Order No. 36 – which in 2013 resulted in the elimination or modification of more than 100 agency regulations – a permanent part of state law.  Under HB 147, the first regulatory review process must begin no later than January 1, 2016.

“We took a big first step with Executive Order 36 in 2012 and built a great deal of goodwill with Delaware businesses who were pleased that state government was committed to streamlining and cleaning up its regulatory books,” said HB 147 sponsor Rep. Bryon Short (D-Brandywine Hundred). “By making that commitment permanent, we are showing our small business community that we understand the challenges they face on a daily basis and that we want to work cooperatively to help them contribute to our economy and our communities.”

Senate Bill 113 – sponsored by Sen. Gerald Hocker, Sen. Bobby Marshall, Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Quinn Johnson, and others –  is one of two bills that comprise the Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 (“RTAA”). SB 113 requires each agency to submit a “regulatory impact statement” whenever it proposes regulations that would place additional burdens upon small businesses. Among other things, each regulatory impact statement must include (1) a description of the regulation’s purpose, as well as the individuals and small businesses that would be subject to it; (2) the estimated costs of compliance; and (3) a description of less burdensome methods of achieving the regulation’s purpose. In addition, SB 113 requires the Registrar of Regulations to submit regulatory impact statements to the appropriate committee of the General Assembly.

“I’m proud to be a part of this bipartisan legislation,” said Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View), owner of five Sussex County businesses. “Since my wife, Emily, and I opened our first grocery story 44 years ago, it’s been increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to start a business in Delaware and for existing businesses to grow. But these three pieces of legislation will help change that by eliminating some of the unnecessary costs that have become such a tremendous burden for our small businesses.”

Senate Bill 120 – sponsored by Sen. Bobby Marshall, Sen. Gerald Hocker, Rep. Q. Johnson, Rep. B. Short, and others – is the second bill that is part of the RTAA. Under SB 120, whenever an agency proposes a regulation that would place additional burdens upon small businesses, it must submit a “regulatory flexibility analysis” that examines ways to lessen the impact of the regulation.  In a regulatory flexibility analysis, agencies generally must consider (1) establishing less stringent deadlines; (2) using performance standards instead of design standards; (3) exempting individuals or small businesses from the regulation; and (4) other ways to accomplish the regulation’s purpose while minimizing the impact upon individuals and small businesses. In addition, SB 120 provides that if an agency does not submit the required information to the Registrar, the proposed regulation may not be published in the Register of Regulations.

“This legislation calls on each agency to perform a thorough analysis of new regulations to ensure they don’t impose unreasonable burdens on our business community,” said Sen. Marshall (D-Wilmington), who chairs the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee and was the prime sponsor of SB 120. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and this bill will ensure that Delaware remains a place where they can grow and prosper.”

“As a small businessman, I know firsthand that our state’s regulatory structure sometimes can be more difficult to navigate than it should be, but I also know that our state agencies want to work with entrepreneurs and see our businesses grow,” added Rep. Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown), a co-sponsor of the bills. “With this legislation, our state agencies will now have the ability to work together with Delaware businesses to help them accomplish their goals, while still fulfilling their missions on behalf of the public.”

Both SB 113 and SB 120 become effective for all new or amended regulations submitted to the Registrar of Regulations on or after January 1, 2016.

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Governor Applauds General Assembly for Passing All 3 Administration Regulatory Reform Bills Unanimously

SB 113, SB 120, and HB 147 to be signed in the coming weeks

Dover, DE – The Delaware Senate today unanimously passed House Bill 147, which requires each Executive Branch agency to conduct an in-depth examination of the regulations on its books every four years—and to solicit public input in doing so. Following yesterday’s passage of  Senate Bill 113 and Senate Bill 120, the General Assembly has now passed by unanimous margins each of the three regulatory reform bills drafted in response to proposals Governor Markell made in this year’s State of the State address. Following today’s Senate vote on HB 147, the Governor issued the following statement:

“The General Assembly’s overwhelming support of these regulatory reform bills speaks to a collective desire to support entrepreneurs and small businesses by eliminating the red tape that can hinder continued success,” said Governor Markell. “This package of legislation builds upon my Administration’s previous efforts to reduce the burden of regulations on Delawareans, while also incorporating some great ideas from legislators on both sides of the aisle. I thank the General Assembly for their unanimous support of these bills.”

The bills in the Governor’s regulatory reform package include:

House Bill 147 – sponsored by Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Danny Short, Sen. Brian Bushweller, and Sen. Greg Lavelle – requires each executive branch agency to conduct periodic reviews of its regulations for possible modification or elimination.  The bill would codify the Governor’s Executive Order No. 36, which in 2013 resulted in the elimination or modification of more than 100 agency regulations.

Senate Bill 113 – sponsored by Sen. Gerald Hocker, Sen. Bobby Marshall, Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Quinn Johnson, and others –  is one of two bills that comprise the Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 (“RTAA”). SB 113 would require each agency to submit a “regulatory impact statement” whenever it proposes regulations that would place additional burdens upon small businesses. Among other things, each statement must include an estimate of the costs of complying with the regulation. In addition, SB 113 requires the Registrar of Regulations to submit regulatory impact statements to the appropriate committee of the General Assembly.

Senate Bill 120 – sponsored by Sen. Bobby Marshall, Sen. Gerald Hocker, Rep. Q. Johnson, Rep. B. Short, and others – is the second bill that is part of the RTAA. Under SB 120, whenever an agency proposes a regulation that would place additional burdens upon small businesses, it must submit a “regulatory flexibility analysis” to consider ways to reduce the regulation’s burden on individuals and small business. That includes considering less stringent requirements or deadlines for individuals or small businesses that must comply with the proposed regulation. In addition, SB 120 provides that if an agency does not submit the required information to the Registrar, a proposed regulation may not be published in the Register of Regulations.

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DNREC to hold April 23 public hearing on proposed revisions to sediment and stormwater regulations

DOVER (April 1, 2013) – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship will hold its second public hearing on proposed revisions to the Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the DNREC Auditorium, Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover. The revisions are designed to address the April 2005 recommendations of the Task Force on Surface Water Management, as well as changes to regulatory language following the first public hearing held March 1, 2012.  

The proposed regulation revisions may be inspected at the following locations: 

  • DNREC’s Dover office, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901
     
  • Kirkwood Library, 6000 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington DE 19808
     
  • Kent County Public Library, 497 South Red Haven Lane, Dover, DE 19901
     
  • Georgetown Public Library, 123 West Pine Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

The proposed regulation revisions and the technical document may also be inspected on the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Sediment & Stormwater Management Program website

For additional information or to make an appointment to inspect the proposed regulation revisions or the technical document at DNREC’s Dover office, please contact Elaine Webb, DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Management Program, at 302-739-9921, or Elaine.Webb@delaware.gov. Review of the documents at the public libraries can be made during the libraries’ scheduled operating hours.

Interested parties may present statements and testimony orally or in writing on the proposed regulation changes at the April 23 public hearing or submit comments in writing by May 8, 2013. Comments submitted as part of the first public comment period will remain as part of the record. Those interested in speaking at the public hearing are asked to register in advance. Written comments on the technical document will be accepted until Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

 Written statements and comments on the proposed regulation changes may be addressed to: Elaine Webb, DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Management Program, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or submitted by email to Elaine.Webb@delaware.gov.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902 

Vol. 43, No. 121

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